Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) has awarded Jacobs a six and a half year, $10.4 million contract to lead the integrated design management team for one of the world’s deepest nuclear clean-up operations, the company reported on Thursday.
"By deploying our design engineering and program management capabilities alongside DSRL, we will weave together several complex and challenging projects to ensure safe and efficient delivery," said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions International Senior Vice President Clive White.
Under the contract, the Jacobs’ led team will play a crucial role in coordinating the operation to clear and treat radioactive waste in a former fast-reactor research and development center at Dounreay, United Kingdom (U.K.).
Jacobs has also been tasked with leading design integration to enable construction activities at Dounreay to begin. The contract has required Jacobs to assist with building work projects, managing design and design support during all commissioning and construction.
The project will work to safely and efficiently clear radioactive waste in Dounreay’s shaft and silo. The intermediate-level waste has been stored at Dounreay since the 1960s and requires modern techniques to store hazardous material more effectively.
The shaft is 214.5 feet underground and is 15 feet wide in some places. The silo is essentially a large underground vault secured with a concrete roof. Berkshire Engineering, a local civil engineering firm, will assist with test and trial work.
Jacobs has previous experience dealing with the UK nuclear sector. In May 2020, the U.K.’s Government Nuclear Decommissioning Authority selected Jacobs to study radioactivity released from irradiated graphite sampled from reactor cores at the U.K.'s nuclear power stations.
"The shaft and silo contain legacy wastes that must be emptied and repackaged for long-term storage before the site can be closed. These contracts are one step closer to the clean-up of these historical waste stores," said DSRL's Program Delivery Director, David Hubbard.